PRUS­SIAN BLUE by Philip Kerr, Ha­chette.

Australian Women’s Weekly NZ - - BOOKS - LM

The only thing bet­ter than one Bernie Gun­ther out­wit­ting en­e­mies is two. In 1939, he’s a Ber­lin de­tec­tive in­ves­ti­gat­ing a mur­der on the ter­race of Hitler’s coun­try home, the Berghof. In 1956, he’s up against East Ger­man as­sas­sins. And along the way our clever, hon­est de­tec­tive finds him­self as a “mad­man among the very mad”, his “own life-pre­serv­ing com­pro­mises star­ing back like friends I’d shame­fully be­trayed”. Pre-war Bernie dis­cov­ers a Ber­cht­es­gaden in which smok­ing is banned, rife with pros­ti­tu­tion and am­phet­a­mine use. He makes use of Pervitin, the local drug of choice: “It was odd how it made you feel im­pa­tient and in­tol­er­ant and even a bit su­per­hu­man – like a Nazi.” Kerr’s writ­ing crack­les with the des­per­a­tion of a man up against a hideous his­tory in the mak­ing.

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